Less is more and the art of reduction,
can create clarity, and curiosity.

The image above is
Tonight We Make History (ps I Can’t Be There) Part 2,
2016  by Harland Miller.

‘In Shadows I Boogie’
is a book by Harland Miller about his art.
I bought it on impulse
while visiting the White Cube Gallery, last October.

I think it was the tenuous connection
of the word ‘Shadows’ …

( I’d recently read the book
‘In Praise Of Shadows’ by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki …
which you can hear about  here
or read about  here )

… and the fact that Miller’s work
had crossed my path frequently at the time.

And yet it wasn’t until eight months later
that I got round to opening it.

I removed the clear wrapping,
and held the front and back pages,
allowing a page in between
to open at random.

The Question Mark appeared.

Without a defining question,
it inspires curiosity and possibility.
Open to individual perception,
to make a personal connection.

It conjures whatever question
you might have in mind.
And ignites a sense of wonder
for the answers you might find.

White Cube Afternoon
Words On A Spine Draw Me  In
Shadows I Boogie



In the book Miller mentions that
‘he’s no fan of using ten words
when twenty will do’.
While he also confesses to
a liking for the form of Haiku,
“primarily because of the value
it puts on the syllable.”

He muses that his ‘Letter Paintings’ could be
a subconscious move
to address his over-talking …
“To work with as little language as possible.“

By reducing the numbers of words to one,
it seems to pose more questions to the viewer.
And with it’s ambiguity,
it reaches more people,
and in different ways.

In response to these Letter Paintings,
he’s received letters from people
explaining what the letters mean to them.
Some humorous, all sincere.

By reducing the content, they mean more.

I understand that a similar method is used
by writers when producing a story.
Keeping one word in mind
that captures the essence of the whole.
It helps to maintain the focus,
and connect the overall message.


I wrote my first Haiku
on the first day of May.
Because it intrigued me.
And so I wanted to play.

They force you to be aware
of the words that you choose.
Conscious of each syllable.
Only seventeen to use.

In the midst of this play,
I realised the connection.
It’s the care and the thought
when it comes to selection.

It’s a mindset to appreciate
what we use; what we make.
Of what’s all around us.
For granted we take.

The quality of a word.
A feeling rings true.
It’s about the connection.
That resonates with you.

Heels worth wearing. Stories worth sharing.

Thank you for reading…
and if you feel so inclined,
please share with a friend
who may come to mind.

Have a beautiful night.

Anthony Stoker

from New Letters 27th August, 2020.

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